More Than Half the Fishing Boats in Las Tunas Are Docked For Lack of Spare Parts

Only 8 of the 23 boats Las Tunas counts on are in operation due to the lack of spare parts to start engines and batteries.

Las Tunas fishing fleet problems have resulted in the city’s shortage of seafood products / Radio Habana, Cuba

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 4 May 2024 — Of the 23 boats that make up the fishing fleet in Las Tunas, only eight are currently working, that is, 65% of the available boats are out of service due to not having enough spare parts to start motors and batteries.

This was revealed by the investment specialist of the state company, Xiomara Concepción, in an interview with Periódico 26, where it explained that the lack of fisheries in the city has resulted, among other things, in a shortage of seafood in the local commercial network.

The shortage of fish in Las Tunas is a reality that, for some years, can be corroborated by the supply shortages of derived foods such as croquettes, sausages and minced meat. The situation has forced suppliers to obtain their fish from neighboring provinces such as Holguín and Camagüey, according reports.

Last March, the Government permanently eliminated the obligation to sign a contract with a company authorized for marketing, which was an obstacle for non-state fishermen to obtain a license.

However, in the little more than a year and a half since the resolution, which also does not consider lobster among its plans, no positive effects have been seen, and in places like Las Tunas the absence of boats adds to the deficit.

According to data from the Ministry of the Food Industry, fish consumption fell in Cuba from an annual average of 18 kilograms per person thirty years ago to around 3.8 kilograms in 2022. So far, the figures corresponding to 2023 have not been made public, but nothing indicates that they will be any better.

Fishermen from Las Tunas struggle to do their work due to lack of resources / Periódico 26

Faced with this panorama, Yordan Rueda Paz, technical director of Pescatun – the fish marketing company in the province – explained to the Cuban News Agency that an investment exceeding 16,370,000 pesos is already being prepared to strengthen the Las Tunas fishing industry, which is also working to obtain engines and other equipment for the fleet.

The project includes the creation and rehabilitation of centers for young fry, the ‘dynamization’ of the industry and obtaining resources for the capture during 2024 for the Empresa Pesquera de Las Tunas [Las Tunas Fishing Enterprise] , commonly referred to as Pescatun.

“During the next few days, we must complete the assembly of the electrical and hydraulic networks and the false ceiling”

According to the official media, this is not the only project to boost food production in the area. There are others linked to the agricultural sector that are being developed in the province of Las Tunas, and through these projects tractors, irrigation systems and other material resources have been received.

The digital newspaper also reports on the training of private and state producers to dedicate the acquired machinery to the most appropriate uses, and convert them into food, grains, fruits, vegetables, meats and other items destined for the population.

Diametrically opposed to the situation in Las Tunas are the results of the Santa Cruz del Sur Fishing Company, in Camagüey, which on November 6 was proud of having captured the 250 tons of lobster of its annual plan and is continuing in search of more seafood to exceed the plan targets.

To this industry, destined mostly for export and hotel food, the regime allocates the resources that it says it does not have when it comes to fishing for national consumption.

Translated by Norma Whiting


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.